Aithne Rowse

Aithne Rowse (born 1968?) is an anaesthetist who was the first South African woman to over-winter in Antarctica.

Aithne Rowse
NationalitySouth African
EducationUniversity of the Witwatersrand
Medical career
InstitutionsChris Hani Baragwanath Hospital


Rowse grew up in Johannesburg and studied for a degree at Wits University Medical School.[1] She worked at Johannesburg Hospital[1] and as an anaesthetist at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Diepkloof.[2] She has recommended better practice in tourniquet technique.[3]


In 1979, American Michele Eileen Raney was the first woman doctor to be in Antarctica all year when she spent the winter at the South Pole.[4]

SANAE IV from above the northern buttress

Rowse was the first South African woman to over-winter in Antarctica in 1997 when she was aged 29.[5][6][7] She was also the first woman to be selected to join any SANAE team.[1] She was part of a team of ten who were the first group to spend the winter on the South African base SANAE IV.[8] Rowse was doctor for the team and her preparation for the job meant that she undertook a range of courses to make her familiar with every aspect of emergency medicine.[1] Prior to arrival, Rowse had not met any of the members of the team for that year.[9] Afterwards, Rowse married fellow team member Hein de Beer.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d Yeld, John (10 February 1997). "The Doc's Head Over Heels in Love - With Snow" (PDF). Cape Argus.
  2. ^ "Dr Rowse, Aithne Helen - Anaesthetist | Medical Network". Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  3. ^ Rowse, Aithne (November 2002). "Editorial". Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia & Analgesia.
  4. ^ "Women Explorers of Antarctica | Ice Queens | Grand Travel". Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Women in Antarctica until the '90s". Experience Antarctica. Archived from the original on 1 February 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Antarktika is ook 'n plek vir sussies". Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  7. ^ kennedy (19 October 2015). "Antarctica Base (SANAE IV)". Antarctic Legacy of South Africa. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  8. ^ Planet, Lonely. "Station Facilities in Sanae IV". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b "David Frank Transcipt" (PDF). 12 March 2010.
  10. ^ SANAE Teams (1996). 36th SANAE Overwintering Team, 1997 (Photo). Antarctic Legacy of South Africa.